Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The Resource Advisory Committee for the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests (FMS RAC) is seeking applications for projects that restore and improve land health and water quality on the national forests in Berkeley, Newberry and Union counties. The FMS RAC will have an estimated $100,000 to spend on projects through September 30.
“I encourage applicants to get their projects in as soon as possible, but definitely by June 6,” said Rick Lint, forest supervisor for the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests. “That way, the RAC will have many projects to choose from that will benefit local communities and the state as a whole.”
The FMS RAC is a collaboration of citizens, county personnel and agency specialists to identify projects that will enhance national forest lands. The committee works closely with the U.S. Forest Service and county officials to recommend projects that will benefit forest health, fish, wildlife, soils, watersheds and other resources. Project sites may be on federal lands or on non-federal lands where activities would help sustain national forest resources in Union, Newberry and Berkeley counties. Fifty percent of the funds must be used for stream and watershed restoration or for road maintenance, decommissioning or obliteration. Some examples of acceptable projects include: maintaining roads, trails and other infrastructure, or controlling noxious weeds.
Funds are made available through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. Projects can be completed in three ways: by Forest Service personnel, through partnership agreements or by open-bid contracting with individuals and corporations. Proponents are invited to present their proposals for review and recommendation at the next RAC meeting, date to be determined. The meeting will be open to the public and held at the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests Supervisor's Office, 4931 Broad River Road in Columbia, South Carolina, beginning at 9:30 a.m. For more information on the national forests in South Carolina, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/scnfs.